Thursday, May 17, 2007

Billboard Magazine

I have always loved music. Throughout my entire life I have always had musicians I have looked up to, admired and idolized. My first memories of adoring a musical artist(s) were Donnie and Marie Osmond. I was only three years old and I watched them on TV and I would sing to their songs. I desperately wanted the Donnie and Marie Osmond dolls and my mom got them for me on Christmas one year. I was thrilled! They both were dressed in purple outfits and had little plastic microphones; I would bring them out and play with them while watching them on television. My father was not as thrilled as I was and eventually the dolls “disappeared” and so did my fixation with Donnie and Marie.

Above: There they are! My beloved Donnie and Marie dolls!

My next two fascinations were groups, Captain & Tennille and Heart. I was four-five years old and I wore out the 1979 Captain & Tennille album “Make Your Move” and their 1975 album “Love Will Keep Us Together.” I have no idea why I liked them so much maybe it was their catchy love songs. Heart is still one of my all time favorite bands and I have followed them throughout their entire career. Some of my favorite songs by them are “Dog & Butterfly,” “Alone” and “Crazy on You.” I think they are completely underrated as a group and attend their concerts any chance I can.

As the eighties started, I moved on to what would be the first of many musical divas I would worship. This is where the gay Neil started to really “come out” at the tender age of six years old. I remember listening to the radio over and over to this song and then going to the store with my mom and buying this 45 record, “On the Radio” by Donna Summer. I was hooked on this song and I would play it over and over, mostly in the kitchen and dance around the floor. I even remember the linoleum was a hideous yellow color. This is the song that started my interest in dancing.

Once 1981 and 1982 came, I was exposed to more of a rock sound and fell in love with Stevie Nicks and her album “Bella Donna.” My parents used to listen to Fleetwood Mac when I was young and I enjoyed that but Stevie on her own was what sold me. Not only did I enjoy every song on this album but also I thought she was the most beautiful woman at the time. I played this album to no end and loved her “witchy” ways that she had. I still enjoy listening to Stevie now and again.

By 1983, I moved away from the female divas and was hooked on Michael Jackson (well I guess he could be considered a female diva now). I think everyone in the world was into Michael Jackson and the Thriller album. I had a red leather jacket and I even had a silver glove I would wear. I remember having a roller skating party in the basement of our new house and all of my school friends were singing and skating to “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.” The Thriller album still holds up as the most successful album of all time!

1984 was the birth of Madonna and, as I stated in my previous post, she was the most influential artist for me growing up and still is. Madonna stayed a constant inspiration to me and I mimicked her in many regards. One of my fondest memories of mimicking Madonna was a talent show that our neighborhood was having and I was going to lips sync and dance to a Madonna song BUT I needed two backup dancers. So, since I was the oldest of three boys I recruited my younger brothers to be my back-up dancers. At this stage of their lives they were pretty much molded to whatever music I listened to and they “liked” Madonna’s music at the time. I was able to choreograph a dance routine with them and we ended up winning the neighborhood talent show! Obviously there wasn’t much competition if three boys under the age of 12 were dancing to Madonna and won. I do however think this scarred my brothers for life, as they are adults now in their 20’s. They have no interest in Madonna.

The mid-80’s for me was a collaboration of old favorites and new artists. I fell in love with Whitney Houston and her amazing voice. She was my favorite singer and still is to this day. She was flawless and had the best slow songs. As we all know, Whitney went down the wrong path with drugs and alcohol and by 2000 fell into a rut and has been rumored to have lost her signature voice. However, I strongly believe that Whitney WILL make a comeback, a new album is slated for release later this year. My fingers are crossed for her. I also enjoyed Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul and praised them for their dancing. However, both Janet and Paula really didn’t hold up well in the music world and their music is pretty much dated now.

Once 1990 came around I started to follow the Billboard music charts more closely and decided to start my own music charts. Every week I would right down my top 20 songs and top 10 albums for that week. I would listen to the radio and sneak into bookstores and look at Billboard Magazine, which was and still is way too much to purchase. After a year was complete I would compile the charts and rank the songs in the order from the number one song of the year down to 100. I did these charts from 1990-2000 and kept everyone of them, looking back from time to time to see what songs I was listening to and how they ranked. I really thought I was odd for doing this and wondered if anyone else kept personal music charts for songs they liked on a weekly basis.

When I left my hometown at the end of 2000, I also left behind my beloved charts. Ten years of tracking songs was left behind and I stopped doing the charts. Over he next five years, I still would track the charts and listen to popular music on the radio and predict what would be a number one sing and what would be a radio hit. I would always say, “That song would have been number one on my chart” and I deep down inside wished I was still doing my charts. At the end of 2004, I met Paul and we hit it off instantly. We had many similar interested and many different hobbies as well that we exposed each other to and enjoy. One of the most bizarre things about Paul and I is that we both had similar music pasts. We both were into pretty much the same music and believe it or not we both kept our own private music charts. We were both in shock when we discovered that we both kept music charts that tracked weekly songs.

After discovering this common bond, Paul and I wished we both were keeping weekly music charts. We both still love music just as much and we look at the Billboard charts on a weekly basis. So we both decided a little over a year ago to start the charts back up again! Every week, Paul and I look at the Billboard charts and rank the songs in the order that we like them the best, with guidelines of course and then we combine our charts together and the result is our weekly chart. It’s kind of funny that we both did this when we were younger and I am enjoying reliving the excitement of seeing the charts every week and seeing what will be number on our private charts.

Here are this weeks top ten songs below based on Paul and my charts:

1. Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5
2. Becasue of You - Ne-Yo
3. Never Again - Kelly Clarkson
4. Give it to Me - Timberland
5. Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne
6. Home - Daughtry
7. I Tried - Bone, Thugs & Harmony
8. U & UR Hand - P!ink
9. Glamorous - Fergie
10. Buy You a Drank - T-Pain


Anonymous said...

This post was great post, brought me back to when I used to listen to Paula Abdul -- a guilty pleasure then and now!

Frank said...

Cheese is Good!

Captain & Tennile is classic! Who could foreget Muscrat Love...ohh and my favorite Do That To Me One More Time!

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